At a time when information is freely available in our pockets and many of the jobs in which our students will be employed in ten years’ time do not yet exist, it is clear that our educational models
Innovation and technology transfer
The cutting-edge tools and methodologies currently being transformed by innovation, from artificial intelligence to personalised medicine, require the combined efforts of researchers and practitioners, the know-how of established businesses and the daring spirit of entrepreneurs. Fundamental research serves as the bedrock for these advancements. However, fundamental research alone is not sufficient. To truly tackle the complexities of modern challenges, it is essential to collaborate with users, as they offer vital insights into real-world applications and needs.
As one of the leading research-intensive institutions, Université Paris-Saclay embraces its role as a partner in sustainable innovation projects, whether they are led by companies, public actors, or our own students and staff. We are convinced that by engaging with socio-economic partners, we can bridge the gap between foundational knowledge and actionable solutions. This integration ensures that innovation is not only groundbreaking but also addresses the societal and environmental imperatives of our era.
While doing so, Université Paris-Saclay also follows a clear compass, in which innovation is never pursued for innovation’s sake, but as an instrument for a better world, a way to tackle the momentous challenges of feeding, caring for, transporting, interconnecting and educating nine billion human beings in a complex international context. Simply responding to market demand or expressed needs does not meet our criteria. In fact, the innovation projects stemming from our labs are strongly driven by a concern for social impact. Université Paris-Saclay is currently strengthening this commitments by formalising it in its strategic innovation roadmap, giving precedence to projects that present scalable remedies to urgent challenges and promise enduring beneficial and shared outcomes.
Inspired by leading universities in this field, we are working across the board to scale up our capacity in the area of knowledge transfer and innovation: from the development of proof-of-concepts funding, to the creation of unique innovation and collaboration places such as the Design Spot or the Paris-Saclay Playground, from the setup of a dedicated investment fund to the development of a service dedicated to industrial relations, from student internships to joint labs.
Supporting a shift in mindset: students, researchers, staff as innovators. Innovation and technology transfer used to be a synonym of patents. While the protection of intellectual property remains an important aspect of our innovation and technology transfer policy, our main priority is to support a shift in mindset among our community: to ensure that students, alumni, researchers, staff at Université Paris-Saclay all see themselves as innovators in their own way. We are progressively extending our set of training activities, from undergraduate students to PhDs, post-doctoral fellows and experienced researchers, to ensure that all members of Université Paris-Saclay who want to engage in innovation feel supported and equipped to do so successfully.
Boosting startup creation. Many of the maturation projects supported by Université Paris-Saclay in the past have led to the creation of knowledge-intensive, promising startups, tackling major social challenges (see a list here). In line with the national priorities of the Deeptech plan, Université Paris-Saclay is intensifying its efforts towards the creation of innovative startups. To this end, we are developing a range of activities tackling all the critical steps leading to high-quality projects: awareness training for all students and staff, tailored programmes for students-entrepreneurs, proof-of-concept funding, dedicated mentoring schemes and professional support (notably thanks to its network of incubators), up to creation and fundraising. As a testimony to this overall ambition, the Paris-Saclay Seed Fund ensures that new ventures have the financial resources at the critical stage of their development.
Developing an efficient, multifaceted interface between labs and socio-economic actors. Across the world, innovation-intensive universities are characterised by the density and diversity of their connections with non-academic actors. With many established collaborations with industrial partners and society, at the heart of a fast-growing innovation ecosystem of both large companies and SMEs, Université Paris-Saclay is one of these innovation clusters in the world. We have a responsibility to make the most of it and facilitate both directions:
- From our labs to society: we are strengthening our labs’ understanding of the potential for industrial transfer of the research they carry out. We are developing our economic intelligence capabilities, to enable researchers to explore potential application markets for their discoveries, in coherence with regional, national and European strategies. We encourage industrial PhDs, who place early-stage researchers in close contact with companies, and we develop specific training courses so that academic staff are equipped to take part in private company’s boards.
- From society to our labs: we are making it easier for potential partners to identify the skills and know-how of our labs so that industrial partners can easily formulate their requests, identify the right people to carry out their collaborative projects successfully, and benefit from a clearer, more fluid interface with our research labs.
PROJECT FAIR: FORMER, APPRENDRE ET INNOVER PAR LA RECHERCHE
Université Paris-Saclay deploys the “FAIR” project to strengthen its activities in the field of research-based education, fostering the interface between students and aboratories, and enabling them to acquire the skills needed for tomorrow’s innovation.
This consist mostly of hands-on, practical schemes to develop innovative research-based learning approaches, which are being tailored by each Graduate School to the specific requirements of the corresponding field of studies.
QUANDELA: AN EXAMPLE OF A DEEPTECH STARTUP AT UNIVERSITÉ PARIS-SACLAY
Founded in 2017, Quandela is a start-up company based at the Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, where a unique technology for the fabrication of quantum light sources has been developed for more than 20 years. These sources are useful for multiple strategic applications such as:
- Optical quantum computers.
- Quantum communications.
- Quantum light-based imaging and detection.
Quandela has already provided several photon sources in different countries and their high efficiency has allowed its customers to increase their working speed and complexity by several orders of magnitude
Our commitments for better science
Open science fortifies the integrity and transparency that we view as fundamental to research. It fosters a more democratic, inclusive culture where knowledge is more widely accessible and ensures
Public trust in science is currently faltering. Scientific integrity has never been so present in the news with cases of plagiarism, data alteration, and problematic links with funders highlighted
In a knowledge-intensive society, science and technological development must be anchored much more deeply in the principles of democracy, equity, and political participation. In this perspective
Universities are born from a powerful ideal: a community which is organised around the quest for knowledge and ideals of openness and respect. The real-life translation of this ideal is far from
The Université of Paris-Saclay has long been committed to researching environmental issues and the effects of climate change, including its impact on our societies and living organisms. Université